Turing House school site?

(149 Posts)
Shooting4themoon Sun 16-Feb-14 18:37:43

Does anyone have any further information on the sale of Imperial College London playing fields to this free school?
Our school use these grounds for all our pitch sports and haven't heard any rumours, has anyone else?

ZoeTedders Wed 22-Apr-15 20:56:20

Wasn´t sure which one people were currently reading.

BayJay Wed 22-Apr-15 18:37:49

ZoeTedders, as you posted that to 3 different threads (and twice to this one smile) I hope you don't mind me directing anyone interested towards the relevant discussion on the local thread rather than repeating the conversation here.

ZoeTedders Wed 22-Apr-15 16:49:07

I´m not convinced that Turing House School is going to be as amazing as it claims it´s going to be. My husband is a teacher and we´ve had a look at their website.

We notice that Turing House is going to have 8 members of staff in addition to the Head. We are concerned regarding the lack of qualification of this small body of staff, particularly in subject specialisms and in secondary experience.

For example, the History teacher has no experience of teaching History and no degree in that subject. Also, the Geography teacher has no degree in Geography and no experience of teaching secondary Geography.

Also, the Spanish and Drama teacher has no formal teaching qualification to teach either subject. In addition, the Music teacher seems to have limited secondary teaching experience.

Perhaps more worryingly Turing House claims to offer a Specialist Science College education but the only Science teacher has a degree in Sports and Exercise Science and not Biology, Chemistry nor Physics. Also, the Technology teacher has not yet been recruited despite it being past the deadline for normal teaching applications.

I also notice from the Turing House website that the school is going to offer the English Baccalaureate but that none of the members of staff seem to have experience in this area which I believe is very different to traditional exams.

As a parent considering this as an option for my son who is in year 5, we are concerned about applying to a Free School where the experience of a small group of teachers is limited

ZoeTedders Wed 22-Apr-15 16:45:34

I´m not convinced that Turing House School is going to be as amazing as it claims it´s going to be. My husband is a teacher and we´ve had a look at their website.

We notice that Turing House is going to have 8 members of staff in addition to the Head. We are concerned regarding the lack of qualification of this small body of staff, particularly in subject specialisms and in secondary experience.

For example, the History teacher has no experience of teaching History and no degree in that subject. Also, the Geography teacher has no degree in Geography and no experience of teaching secondary Geography.

Also, the Spanish and Drama teacher has no formal teaching qualification to teach either subject. In addition, the Music teacher seems to have limited secondary teaching experience.

Perhaps more worryingly Turing House claims to offer a Specialist Science College education but the only Science teacher has a degree in Sports and Exercise Science and not Biology, Chemistry nor Physics. Also, the Technology teacher has not yet been recruited despite it being past the deadline for normal teaching applications.

I also notice from the Turing House website that the school is going to offer the English Baccalaureate but that none of the members of staff seem to have experience in this area which I believe is very different to traditional exams.

As a parent considering this as an option for my son who is in year 5, we are concerned about applying to a Free School where the experience of a small group of teachers is limited

Icimoi Wed 15-Apr-15 17:12:49

It is bizarre to suggest that the A316 can't cope with the flow of traffic to Whitton whilst the narrow and very parked-up Udney Park Road can cope with the flow there. Obviously the issue of transport links is one that can be resolved very easily, and in fact it is not true to say there are no transport links.

But the point is that it's not an either/or. As I said, Whitton may well have a good case for opposing the school being sited there, but it is wrong to approach that case by assuming that the only possible method of so doing is fighting for the school to be placed at Udney Park. Really the point is that finding a genuinely suitable site, if it has to be found at all, is a problem for the school's promoters, the council and the DfE. If local residents put all their energy into fighting each other they will simply be playing into the hands of their mutual opponents.

Just for the record, I don't live anywhere near Udney Park Road.

glnta77 Wed 15-Apr-15 03:59:39

Icimoi

I don't know how you work out that the Udney Park site is more unsuitable that the Whitton site, you surely must have your head in the sand ?

The Whitton site is

1) Metropolitan Open Land, afforded the same protection as Green Belt.
2) There are no transport links to the site, the road network is totally inadequate to cope with the extra flow, In fact there is no suitable entrance to the site except at the bottom of a blind humpback bridge.
3) The environmental ecology of the site and its connection via footbridge to Hounslow Heath Nature Reserve would be completely destroyed by any such development.
4)There are 5 Schools within 1/4 of the Whitton site already and the roads cannot cope as it is.

The Imperial College site is

1) Not Metrolpolitan Open Land
2) A more suitable and wider road structure already in place to cope with the flow. Site can be accessed by at least 6 bus routes and 8 minutes from Teddington Station.
3) No environmental reasons there not to build just a covenant to use site for sports.

glnta77 Wed 15-Apr-15 03:45:13

www.facebook.com/Whittonagainstturinghouse?ref=bookmarks

Icimoi Wed 15-Apr-15 01:20:07

I think it's a great pity that the Whitton campaign is operating by demonising those who oppose the Udney Park site. There are very good reasons why the Udney Park site is wholly unsuitable, and trying to make a case for avoiding the Whitton site by pushing for a much more unsuitable site is likely to destroy the Whitton case.

glnta77 Mon 13-Apr-15 06:53:19

https://www.change.org/p/teddington-s-turing-house-secondary-school-may-be-built-in-whitton

https://www.facebook.com/Whittonagainstturinghouse

glnta77 Sat 11-Apr-15 00:58:07

ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT TURING HOUSE PROPOSED SITE

https://www.facebook.com/Whittonagainstturinghouse?ref=hl

https://www.change.org/p/teddington-s-turing-house-secondary-school-may-be-built-in-whitton

Please sign our petition and share.

Shootingatpigeons Sun 30-Mar-14 09:07:03

strix TH is a school proposal that started with Twickenham parents who did not want their community to break up in the way they do all over the borough when faced with living in a black hole of good school places. They could see that with the Catholic School proposal being given priority it was the only way to get new school places. The Egerton road proposal didn't emerge until later and then proposing far too few places, too late (2017) to meet the need. I don't think that need has in any way gone away, indeed the 2014 application figures are showing that the risks to the Council forecasts are materialising.

RET are not a sponsor like GEMS or Belleview who are looking for opportunities to exploit the education market created by the desperate need for school places with proposals that are rooted in their self interest. It is assisting a parent body to achieve their aims which are rooted in the community's needs and desires. I think most parents understand that and will not stop supporting the group of parents who have worked so hard to get this far. It is not for want of trying that they have encountered this hurdle which is of the politician's making.

BayJay Sat 29-Mar-14 21:08:44

Strix, council forecasts indicate two 150 PAN schools are needed by 2017. TH has already been pre-approved by the DfE, so is first in the queue. The REEC school can't overtake it in the queue, and would only be pre-approved on the basis that more places are definitely needed beyond the ones that TH will provide.

Even then, as the REEC school isn't proposed to open until 2017, current Y5 and Y4 would have no incentive to 'switch' their support to it.

ikkenu Sat 29-Mar-14 18:59:35

I think it's a setback but not the end. If there was room at one of the HA or TA sites to expand to say 250 pupils plus a school for 180 at the other (Turing?), and another 150 at Egerton Road, you'd get lots of extra capacity in that side of the borough (if not for Barnes...). The question of sixth forms when the schools are operated by different sponsors makes things much more complicated - maybe the Swedish group would throw in the towel and let the pupils get a decent selection of courses at Richmond College while taking on more 11-16 aged pupils. Or Turing House could do the same at Egerton Road if it came to it! There could be some creative staff sharing arrangement.

I just can't see at what point schools get to change sponsor. But we have a general election in a year so maybe the rules will all change.

Strix Sat 29-Mar-14 18:27:14

I agree that it is time to debate (publicly) whether parents in West London are interested is a Swedish style education. They could consolidate onto one site and give TA to Turing. That would be a great idea. But it won't happen.

I am sorry to say that I think Turing will not happen in Twickenham at all. The recent events have shattered public support. It will be very very hard to now secure a site in Twickenham. I think people who want a non faith based co-ed education will now put their efforts behind REEC. They've got a site.

And I think RET will have to take its Turing plans to another borough and start over with a new set of parents who will be just as hungry for this school as the Twickenham parents were.

Shootingatpigeons Sat 29-Mar-14 13:01:46

tess I think you have to be a little careful. Both TA and HA are almost full, there is demand for what they offer. They are also improving, if not fast enough for OFSTED.

I totally agree that in the face of the huge pupil increase Turing for which there is huge parent demand should be given every support, and it appears that the Council are doing that.

The issue of what is to be done about TA and HA is I think separate. I do not agree with the argument that Turing should be put on the back burner, or sites given to exclusive faith schools, because a new school that meets parental demand threatens TA and HA, parents won't be shepherded into schools they don't think are right for their children. Those allocated to Turing are now planning to move, go private or home school rather than allow that to happen, as parents have done in this borough for years. There are already more than enough pupils to fill all the academies, Turing and a couple of other state schools beside if schools were meeting the demands of parents (if the proportion of Year 6s going into the borough's state schools were just the average of the ten most affluent London boroughs there would be 300 more pupils for whom spaces would have to be found, two new 5 form entry schools, quite aside from the projected increase in the cohort size). The current education strategy manages down demand through deterring parents who feel they have no choice. So TA and HA have to win the confidence of parents to succeed. They need time to do that clearly, OFSTED feel there is fine tuning needed to the approach but how much time, and at what point the Secretary of State calls time I am not sure.

I thought ikkenus earlier post was interesting, the suggestion that if TA/HA cannot attract OFSTED approval and parental demand in the next ?years that perhaps they should accept that there is not demand for two schools offering that educational model, and consolodate on one site, perhaps with further expansion on that site. That sounds a more rational use of valuable sites.

bluestars Fri 28-Mar-14 11:26:03

tess73 - The local council has no say in closing any acadamy. This can only be done by the Acadamy Trust itself or the Secretary of State.
According to council forecasts, to provide for the primary bulge coming through the system, we need all the existing secondary schools (all academies) as well as 2 new schools by 2017.

tess73 Fri 28-Mar-14 10:57:38

What i'd like to understand is how the council can sit by and watch underperforming schools (nb TA) which lack parental demand, yet a school which only exists in principle is massively oversubscribed and completely full. Doesn't that tell them something?
If a school isn't supported, or you have to force kids into it by offering no other option, then surely it should close and the facilities be handed over to the team which can show massive support?
Or am i missing something in my oversimplistic view?
As much as people are/were up in arms re St RR it is shown to have full support of the 6 outstanding catholic primaries.

Shootingatpigeons Thu 27-Mar-14 11:45:55

reddidi there are suggestions of various site options in the public sphere, some are discussed here. Not all would be vulnerable to the risks of commercial negotiation, and the risk analysis is more concerned with whether when and how planning obstacles could be overcome. This is fundamentally about getting the DofE to understand the risks better and it is very political because in this borough school place provision has become extremely political as a result of the Catholic school issue strix has mentioned. However it is reassuring that the Council do seem to have finally understood the strength of parental feeling on the issue.

I am not as involved as bayjay as my children are now older but I do understand why this school is so badly wanted and needed.

BayJay Thu 27-Mar-14 11:03:02

Reddidi, I'm one of the parents on the TH Steering Group.

I didn't mean securing a site was a tick box exercise. Clearly not. I meant the decision to open the school in temporary accommodation is a tick box exercise. That isn't intended to trivialise the decision. As in many important business decisions there are certain conditions that need to be met to mitigate risk and in this case they have not yet been met.

Strix Thu 27-Mar-14 10:57:39

I know what their official "position" is. But actions speak louder than words and they seem rather complacent at best. For starters, if they hadn't given the Clifden Road site away (not sold, but given) then there would be a permanent home for Turing. And, having done that, they don't seem particularly proactive in helping Turing to secure another permanent site. Perhaps I'm wrong. You are certainly closer to them than I am. But, then, I have no vested interest in not offending them.

I would like to see everyone put the politics aside and get on with the business of educating these 11 year olds, who are far too young to be used as political pawns.

reddidi Thu 27-Mar-14 10:50:59

BayJay it sounds like you are involved as more than just a bystander here, what is your interest?

Securing (i.e. signing contracts for) a permanent site is NOT a tick box exercise, it is a vital commercial hurdle for any school to achieve before committing to opening on a temporary site. Whatever the obstacles in the way of a permanent site are, they would cost a lot more to overcome if the school can be held to ransom because it is already open.

BayJay Thu 27-Mar-14 10:18:00

Strix, you have misinterpreted Richmond Council's position on TH. They very much want it and need it. They assumed it would happen as much as everyone else.

They have helped to coordinate the REEC partnership because it is a much more complex project, involving rebuilding of the college, relocation of Clarendon school, and relocation of Haymarket.

Both schools are needed so LBRuT are helping to secure an additional site for TH within the borough.

Sites have been identified. One of them just needs to get to the point of sufficient security to enable the school to open in temp accommodation. Its a tick-box exercise, but its important, because the risks of opening in temp accommodation need to be managed.

Strix Thu 27-Mar-14 09:38:59

Ah right. Yes, we got a letter round on that one. But, as the planned opening is for the year after DS goes to senior school I haven't given it much thought. But I do know that people in the Heathfields area worry about the Orleans Park "catchment" shrinking. Their next likely school allocation is not something they want, so again this school will have great local support.

It is a shame that Turing has been unable to secure a permanent site, and it does very much appear the Richmond council does not actually want the school in the Richmond Borough. I can't understand why. But, I suspect RET will have to look at a new borough for their school. Can this be done? Or is the "go-ahead" conditional on putting the school in the borough in which the original application was made?

BayJay Thu 27-Mar-14 08:08:55

Stix, I think she meant the REEC partnersip free school proposed for Egerton Rd for 2017. It is needed in adfition to TH.

The council's forecasts don't distinguish explicitly by area. We're a small borough, long and thin, carved up by rivers and roads, so its a significant complication. However, the site options are so few that it would be disingenuous to suggest there is much choice in where new schools are located.

The TH admissions point was devised in consultation with the council for that reason, to cater for an area of projected future need.

ikkenu Thu 27-Mar-14 08:08:37

The Richmond College one. Maybe that's too. If you live in Barnes there seem to be new schools springing up every year, but not one of them handy for Barnes!

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